Northern White-breasted Hedgehog Erinaceus roumanicus

10,000 Birds

After all, North America has no native hedgehogs and seeing something so outside of our normal experience was pretty exciting, even if the little guy quickly headed for cover and refused to show itself for Clay Taylor, who came upon the scene a minute too late. My week-long trip to Hungary was a familiarity trip organized by the wonderful folks at Swarovski Optik to introduce their new line of superior spotting scopes, the ATX and the STX modular telescopes.

2012 137

Twitching Northern Lapwings in Montauk

10,000 Birds

Driving to the eastern extremity of New York State with the hope of seeing a bird, rare for North America, is an odd and entertaining way to spend the predawn hours. We just needed to get to a vantage point to look into the north pasture of Deep Hollow Ranch which necessitated driving a short way to Teddy Roosevelt County Park, walking out across the field there, making a sharp right turn, following the white-marked fence posts, and setting up our scopes to scan.

2012 115

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The Eurasian Nuthatch

10,000 Birds

We North Americans are spoiled with nuthatches. And while I can still remember the first time I saw one in 2007, in the company of Jochen and Hendrik in a pine forest on the coast of the Baltic Sea, it took until this year’s trip to Hungary before I managed to get a decent image of one. Still, it is nice to see more than one type of nuthatch and I imagine that Europeans are wildly jealous of North America’s four ( Soon to be seven?

2012 112

Black Woodpecker: Officially a Nemesis

10,000 Birds

Well, here is what I wrote about the worst woodpecker a couple of years ago : This is a bird that has eluded me on two trips to Germany – both of which included exploring forests where they were supposed to be present – and a trip to a region of Hungary where they are supposed to be common…Whenever I get to Europe again this will be my most-wanted bird. I have never before had a true nemesis bird.

2017 100

First Outbreak of Usutu Virus in Germany

10,000 Birds

This thrush is extremely common in urban and suburban Germany and one of the most conspicuous bird species here, comparable to the American Robin in North America. The Blackbird die-off that was observed in north-west Baden-Württemberg, neighbouring parts of Rheinland-Pfalz and southern Hessen in 2011 was caused by the Usutu Virus. It subsequently spread to Budapest/ Hungary (2005, 2006), Zürich/ Switzerland (2006), and north-east Italy (2008/2009).